Anthology: The Denver Nightingale
Billy Murray

Billy Murray, Anthology: The Denver Nightingale
June 23, 2015 hennessey
Billy Murray: Anthology: The Denver Nightingale

30 songs from 1903-1940 that provide a career retrospective of the most popular recording artist of the acoustic era. Includes the rare brown wax cylinder of "The Way to Kiss a Girl" from one of Billy's first recording sessions for Columbia, and "It's the Same Old Shillelagh," peformed with Harry's Tavern Band in his comeback of 1940. Features collaborations with Ada Jones, the American and Haydn Quartets, Aileen Stanley, Ed. Smalle, and Walter Scanlan. A thick 24-page booklet contains a biographical essay and song notes by Murray biographer Frank Hoffmann and a reminiscence of Murray by a man who knew him, Quentin Riggs! List price: $16.99


  • Catalogue number: ARCH 5501
  • UPC: 656605931821
  • Original release date: October 22, 2002
  • Running length: 78:56 / 30 tracks
  • Notes & packaging: Includes a 24-page booklet
  • Tracks recorded: 1903-1940
  • Contains racially derogatory language
  • In Archeophone's Anthology series
Tracks and Sound SamplesProduct DescriptionPackage DealsMore by this Artist
 Sample all tracks 
1. The Way to Kiss a Girl Billy Murray 1903
2. Bedelia Billy Murray 1903
3. Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis Billy Murray 1904
4. Alexander Billy Murray 1904
5. Come Take a Trip in My Air-Ship Billy Murray 1904
6. Yankee Doodle Boy Billy Murray 1905
7. Under the Anheuser Bush Billy Murray 1905
8. Give My Regards to Broadway Billy Murray 1905
9. In My Merry Oldsmobile Billy Murray 1905
10. Everybody Works But Father Billy Murray ca. 1906
11. The Grand Old Rag Billy Murray 1906
12. He Goes to Church on Sunday Billy Murray 1907
13. Harrigan Billy Murray 1907
14. Shine On, Harvest Moon Billy Murray and Ada Jones 1909
15. Carrie Billy Murray 1910
16. By the Light of the Silvery Moon Billy Murray and the Haydn Quartet 1910
17. Casey Jones Billy Murray and the American Quartet 1910
18. The Cubanola Glide Billy Murray 1910
19. He’d Have to Get Under-Get Out and Get Under (To Fix Up His Automobile) Billy Murray 1914
20. He’s a Devil in His Own Home Town Billy Murray 1914
21. I Love a Piano Billy Murray 1916
22. Pretty Baby Billy Murray 1916
23. K-K-K-Katy Billy Murray 1918
24. He Went in Like a Lion and Came Out Like a Lamb Billy Murray 1920
25. You’ve Got To See Mama Ev’ry Night Billy Murray and Aileen Stanley 1923
26. That Old Gang of Mine Billy Murray and Ed. Smalle 1923
27. Charley, My Boy Billy Murray with International Novelty Orchestra 1924
28. I Faw Down and Go Boom! Midnight Ramblers with vocal chorus by Billy Murray 1928
29. Amos ‘n Andy Billy Murray and Walter Scanlan 1930
30. It’s the Same Old Shillelagh Harry’s Tavern Band with vocal refrain by Billy Murray 1940

For the first time ever on a commercial CD, here are 30 songs that span the five decades of Billy Murray’s career. Included are Murray’s biggest hits, such as “The Grand Old Rag,” “In My Merry Oldsmobile,” and “I Love a Piano.” Also featured are tracks representing the depth and breadth of Billy’s recordings, such as one of his first, “The Way to Kiss a Girl”; one of his most biting, “He Goes to Church on Sunday”; one of his most wry, “He’s a Devil in His Own Home Town”; and one of his very last, “It’s the Same Old Shillelagh.” Anthology includes a 24-page booklet featuring contributions from Murray biographers Frank Hoffmann, Quentin Riggs, and Dick Carty, as well as the story behind the biggest hit Murray never recorded—”Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

The Biggest Star of the Acoustic Recording Industry

Through 1925, nobody else even came close. Murray outsold all other performers from the time of his breakout records in 1903 through to his retirement in 1943. Each of Murray’s successive efforts—first, “Yankee Doodle Boy,” then “The Grand Old Rag,” and later, “Casey Jones,” by the Murray-led American Quartet—was announced as the biggest seller for Victor Records. Prior to 1950, only Bing Crosby surpassed Murray in popularity, and from 1951 through 1999, only Elvis and the Beatles have had a similar impact on the recording industry.

American Classics

The songs that Billy Murray popularized are classic American tunes, from “Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis” to “Give My Regards to Broadway,” and from “Harrigan” to “K-K-K-Katy (Stammering Song).” You’ll notice that a number of the songs were composed by George M. Cohan: more than any other recording artist of the early industry, Murray was the primary interpreter of the now-famous songs of Cohan, the original “Yankee Doodle Boy.”

Dynamic Duos

Murray was also part of several of the most important early duos and ensembles making records. The team of Ada Jones and Billy Murray sold more records than any other duo in the acoustic period. But Murray had success later on singing duets with Aileen Stanley, Walter Scanlan, and Ed Smalle. Each pairing brought him new challenges, and Anthology lets you hear Murray’s amazing versatility. Some of his finest work was with quartets, especially the American Quartet, and as guest tenor with the Haydn Quartet. These groups are also represented on Anthology.

A Master Stylist

Billy Murray has been noted for his unique ability to enunciate so that every syllable could be clearly heard and understood. He was a master of style and form, performing every kind of popular music, from tender ballad to comic song. If you don’t have any music from the acoustic era, this CD is the one to start with!

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